Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 10am-4pm at Florence Filberg Centre in Downtown Courtenay

Martha Attema


Author headshotMartha Attema’s award-winning novels are inspired by family experiences and historical events during WWII. Born in Friesland, the Netherlands, she moved to Canada in 1981. As a kindergarten teacher she wrote stories for her students, eventually fulfilling her dream of becoming a published author.



When the Dikes Breached (Historical Fiction
Young Adult)

Awesome Wildlife Defenders, a young reader novel, is the story of eleven-year-old Rebecca, who is struggling with panic attacks. Life becomes complicated when her eccentric class teacher teams her up with her classmate, Cedar, on a project about the endangered northern spotted owl.

“An excellent story about friendship, team work, mental health, family and the quest to save endangered animals. An excellent read-aloud choice, [that] would certainly initiate class discussions.” – Canadian Review of Materials


Martha is based in Duncan, BC.


For 16-year-old Klara, a devastating flood reveals a dark family secret. “This is an unforgettable story of survival. If you enjoy human drama set against historical events as much as I do, this is a book for you.” — Heather Stemp, author of Under Amelia’s Wing. It is February 1953 in the Netherlands and Klara is expected to marry the son of a prominent farmer. In this small island community, steeped in tradition, the Church controls the lives of its citizens but Klara longs to escape. When a spring tide merges with a brutal storm it causes the dikes to breach, unleashing death and destruction that exposes a dark family secret.


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